Juniors show support for McCabe during illness

Photo Courtesy of Shelley Perrett

By Yash Nigam, Production Editor

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Junior Harrison McCabe has been undergoing extensive medical treatment since he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in late September.

“What I have is something called an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), examples of which include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,” McCabe said. “Although my symptoms have escalated from the time of my diagnosis, this disease was really sudden. It hit me out of nowhere.”

Ulcerative colitis consists of a wide range of symptoms including anemia and fatigue,  which have kept McCabe out of school.

“This disease has drained away all my energy,” McCabe said. “I am barely able to go to school. If I go to school, I either leave early or have to get there late. When I get home, I just pass out.”

To cheer Harrison up, the entire CHS football team, as well as many of his friends, sent him a video of them doing the “Harlem Shake.”

“Harrison is truly a good-natured guy,” sophomore Alec McGee said. “We really miss him, and hope he comes back soon.”

Apart from missing months of school, McCabe is no longer able to participate in activities that he was actively involved in before.

“Ulcerative colitis ended my football season,” McCabe said. “It is also harder to have a social life. I had to drop out of Mr. Churchill. I barely have energy to get things done inside school, so it is definitely harder to get things done outside of it. “

He was recently hospitalized for about two weeks at the University of Chicago Inflammatory Disease Center, which is one of the world leaders in gastrointestinal research. He has thankfully responded well to the specialized treatment and medicines administered to him.

“I am pretty much in remission,” McCabe said. “Hopefully, I will be back at school soon. I hope that I do not get any kind of surgery done in the future.”

Although his disease stopped him from participating in some of his favorite pastimes, it has motivated him to pursue other activities that are even more fulfilling.

“I can probably name at least four or five people off the top of my head who have an IBD,” McCabe said. “I am going to be working on raising awareness for these diseases because they are widespread and have serious symptoms. If we raise enough awareness, we can truly make a better lifestyle for those affected.”